PLDT and its wireless arm Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) are boosting their fiber, LTE, and 5G networks in Eastern Visayas to deliver improved internet experience to their customers in the region.

To date, 100 percent of Smart's sites in the provinces of Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Western Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte and Biliran are already on LTE, as PLDT continues to expand its fiber network in the region, including the fiberization of the backhaul of its cell sites across the provinces.

Smart has also fired up 5G sites in Tacloban, Ormoc, Baybay, Villaba, Tolosa, Albuera, and Tanauan in Leyte; Calbayog and Santa Margarita in Western Samar; Borongan in Eastern Samar; and Catarman, Bangkerohan and Bobon in Northern Samar.

PLDT, which has existing fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) facilities in the cities of Tacloban, Ormoc, and Calbayog, as well as in the towns of Palo and Tanauan, has further expanded its fiber infrastructure to the Leyte towns of Tolosa, La Paz, Mayorga, MacArthur, Abuyog, Alangalang, Albuera, Hindang, Inopacan, Hilongos, Bato, Matalom and Isabel.

Citing the need for strong and reliable connectivity, the local government of Hindang in Leyte is among the municipalities that are reaping the benefits of upgrading to fiber.

“We are one of the many businesses and government institutions that have found significantly higher returns on our investment in fiber. We will now be able to help people at all levels to communicate, recognize important issues and find common grounds, and build a sense of identity and participation,” said Hindang Mayor Betty Cabal, adding that connectivity will also help spur productivity, leading to greater competitiveness.

Mario Tamayo, head of technology at PLDT and Smart, also highlighted the role of connectivity in enhancing the collaboration between the public and private sector, which is especially important as the country bounces back from the pandemic.

“PLDT and Smart are committed to reach and serve all the regions across the country, enabling both the public and private sectors to adapt and transition into the New Normal,” said Tamayo.

“Reliable connectivity will empower companies in Leyte to be more competitive, facilitating seamless processes and operations, including the efficient use of cloud services. This network expansion will also help enable teachers and students to participate in their online learning and teaching. We are one with the LGUs of Leyte in their goal of serving more people to ensure the development of the region,” he added.

"As the need for stable and reliable internet services continues to rise, we at PLDT Enterprise are fully committed to help enterprises, the government sector and communities in the region to rise up by getting more people connected," said Jimmy Chua, AVP and head, Corporate Relationship Management, PLDT Enterprise.

These initiatives are part of PLDT and Smart's sustained network rollout nationwide. PLDT operates the country's most extensive fiber infrastructure, now at more than 511,000 kilometers as of June. This fiber infrastructure supports Smart's mobile network, which covers 96 percent of the population from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi. PR)